Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)
Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is a procedure for treating infertility. In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF) are a technology that introduces the female egg (oocyte) and male sperm together in a specialized culture medium where the chances of successful fertilization are greatly enhanced. The embryos are observed and grown in our IVF laboratory, where they are graded for quality and reintroduced to the recipient's uterus at a multi-cell embryo stage or later at the blastocyst embryo stage. All procedures required during an IVF cycle, including ovarian stimulation and monitoring, egg retrieval, and embryo transfer, are performed on-site in our state-of-the-art facilities.
The most common indications for IUI are cervical mucus abnormalities, low sperm count, low sperm motility, increased sperm viscosity or anti-sperm antibodies, unexplained infertility, and the need to use frozen donor sperm. In natural intercourse, only a fraction of the sperm makes it past the woman's cervical mucus into the uterus. IUI increases the number of sperm in the fallopian tubes, where fertilization takes place.
Studies show that IUI, or artificial insemination, is most successful when it is coupled with fertility drugs that recruit multiple follicles. This technique often is called controlled ovarian stimulation and IUI.
IUI sometimes is recommended for couples with unspecified infertility who have been trying to have a baby for six to 12 months. You should have a thorough infertility evaluation before trying IUI.
Male partner requirements for IUI
IUI relies on the natural ability of sperm to fertilize an egg in the fallopian tubes. Studies show that IUI will not be effective in cases where the male has low sperm counts or poor sperm shape (also known as sperm morphology). Sperm tests are required, therefore, to indicate:
- Sperm count (number of sperm per cc)
- Sperm motility (percentage of sperm moving)
- Sperm morphology (shape)
Female partner's requirements
The patient should have normal day 3 blood test results, open fallopian tubes, and a normal uterine cavity.
Women with ovulatory disorders can be candidates for IUI if they respond adequately to fertility drugs. In these cases, hormone treatments stimulate follicle growth and the IUI is timed to take place after ovulation is induced. Hormone treatments are usually used even for women without an ovulatory disorder.
Women with mild endometriosis may benefit from IUI if they do not have a distortion of the pelvic structures.
Women with severely damaged or blocked fallopian tubes are not candidates for IUI.